Raised in Minneapolis, jazz vocalist José James did his music academic studies in 2004, at NYC's New School's jazz program, under the teachings of the legendary Chico Hamilton. So impressed with his student, Hamilton later invited him to perform on his own recordings. Hailed as an important figure in a new generation of jazz vocalists, James gracefully blends classic soul and contemporary hip hop or R&B with his jazz roots, through his own compositions or with his covers of standards. His debut album, The Dreamer (2008) was released to great acclaim, spawning an international tour of some of the world's greatest stages. Two years later, he released not one but two albums, the all-covers For All We Know, with Jef Neve, as well as Black Magic, on the prestigious Impulse! label. James' 1st Blue Note effort, No Beginning No End, came out in 2013.